The difference a year makes

I can not believe I am just posting these portraits of Sam as they were taken a year ago. I have been so busy with work, remodeling our house and playing with Sam every chance I get that I have not squeezed in blogging. We do a professional shoot with him every month. This has been one of my favorites!Img_0990 IMG_0993 IMG_1010 IMG_1053 Img_1055A IMG_1069 InstaBox_20172270409434

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Slowly Slowly it goes


SOOO…. I said I wanted another project and boy did I get one. I thought moving a 2 story 2800 sq. ft. house had been the ultimate home remodel but it was nothing compared to our new OLD place. I keep saying I am going to post photos of the progress but then I get busy doing something else around here. This was one of the smallest projects I’ve tackled. The built in butlers pantry is original to the house but boy was it ugly. Just like the entire rest of the house. A ton of sanding, several coats of white paint, some nice knobs and what I am most proud of here, a new subway tile counter. Why I am proud was because I did it myself with the help of google. Its the first tile I have ever laid 20170907_101533 20170907_101550 20170918_083428but I was very happy with the results. What do you guys think?

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Introducing … SAM


We were expecting Sam to show up around December 28th last year. Instead he decided to come 3 weeks early. Ashlee’s blood pressure was way to high so she ended up having a c-section on December 7th. Best day of my Life! It was agony as all the family waited to hear that the baby and she were fine and that there were no more complications. After a couple of hours, which seemed like days the proud daddy called to say everyone was great. We were all beside ourselves to see Sam so Daryl face timed with us and we saw our precious baby boy for the 1st time. After what seemed like another few days we all got to go back to Ashlee’s room and see and hold Sam. I have to say I was a bit of a baby hog as I got to hold Sam 1st and I totally forgot for a few minutes that there was anyone else in the room but Sam and me. These photos are Sam’s 1st photo shoot. They were taken about 12 hours after he was born.

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No one noticed until late the 2nd day after Sam was born that the tag from WakeMed said baby boy but had a F (for female) on his tag.

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Daryl was excellent at making baby burritos.

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Not even 24 hours old and he is so expressive! That has not changed one bit. Yesterday he was 10 months old. From newborn to 10 months in a blink of an eye. I have been trying to spend as much time with him as I can as I know how fast it all flies by. So I will update you on his progress along with the house in the coming weeks.

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Sneak peek of “the money pit”

A couple of years ago I was feeling a bit restless as I was now a empty nestor. I loved my home and gardens and everything that Larry and I had created over the 16 years we had been in our home in Apex. I think we had run out of projects there and were doing a good job of maintaining  but it was beginning to feel just that,maintaining. So, we started thinking about what we were going to do going into our golden years so to speak. We seriously kicked around the idea of selling everything and moving to St. Martin and starting a new business there. I LOVE St. Martin but knew I’d miss my kids and friends as well as my clients to much to go so far away. Ashlee sealed  that idea when she announced that we were finally going to be grandparents. So…… I found a new project. I should say huge project. A year later we are still working on it. IMG_20151112_1144444_rewind

I have always loved white brick. I have always loved old homes. The date this was built was 1925 so check that box. And it had TWO sunrooms. I was hooked. That whole front porch had to be torn out and redone. Here is what it looks like now. Still trying to decide on what kind of railings I want.


Here is a view of the porch today,decorated for Halloween. Yes Slim and his dog Pickins made the move with us.


I love the blue slate. This was what was here and it was broke and cracked in many areas.


The steps came out and I chose this look for the risers. I am thinking of black wrought iron railings for the steps and porch. Let me know your ideas.


Look for my post tomorrow when I will share my precious grandbaby Sam’s 1st photo shoot.

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Example number one or two????

Forgot to put these in the pregnancy shoot post and I had to add them because I love this shot. I really like them both ways. What is your favorite?IMG_9529 (1) IMG_9529

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Dream “finally” comes true

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For all of you that know me  you have heard me saying since my daughter Ashlee got married back in 2007 “show me the babies”.  Well she finally obliged!  You are also probably  wondering why I have fallen off the face of the earth the last year or so. This is reason number 1. Reason number 2 is we sold our home in Apex last august and bought another really old home in Sanford and have since  been involved in a “remake” of “The money pit”. I hope to catch you all up to date in the following weeks. Life has been crazy,wonderful,stressful,busy, challenging,creative,and joyful just to say a bit.

These amazing images are of the pregnancy shoot I did with Ashlee and Daryl last year this time. She was just over 6 months pregnant here. The photos were taken at the Moses Cone house on the blue-ridge parkway and an old abandoned property near hickory. It was one of my favorite shoots of all time. Ashlee made her beautiful dress and styled the whole shoot. She is just so talented and we loved the way all the images turned out.

House and baby photos coming soon!

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Sailing with Team Tijon

Img_2927 D_1024x524 44If you read my blog you will notice its been quite a while since I’ve posted. If you know me then you know that I always have a lot to say, it’s just been a super busy time in my life and I don’t typically posts my shoots for privacy reasons. Larry and I have not been to St. Martin in over 2 years and this winter decided we were going no matter what. He said 4 weeks and I said 6. I won. By week 3 he was thanking me profusely for booking those extra 2 weeks.

One of the 1st things we did there was get up with our friends Cindy and John Berglund. They own a most wonderful perfumery in Grand Case. They make incredible men’s and women’s perfume as well as all kind of other great skin products. The most fun thing they do is offer classes where you can learn all about how perfume is made and make your own 1 of a kind perfume. Look up to see all their wonderful shop and products. They have been voted the number  1 thing to do while on St. Martin by Trip Advisor!

Cindi and John are very friendly and outgoing and have made a ton of friends over the years, so its very natural for them to celebrate with friends when there are big happenings on the island. One such event happens every year there in march  called The Heineken Regatta. Its a 3 day event with dozens of races and parties. People come from all over the world to race in the regatta. Its great fun to watch but hard to really see too much from shore. A few years ago John and Cindi decided to charter a boat to get up close and personal to see the races. Team Tijon was born. This year 75 people flew in from around the globe to sail with Team Tijon. Larry and I were among the lucky crew. We sailed up close to the races,drank rum punch,danced and did the limbo and had a great time! We hope to make this a annual date in our calenders every march.

Not knowing how wet things were going to be I left my professional camera at home and just brought my small point and shoot water camera with me. I was happy overall with the photos I was able to get. I think they capture the fun of the day and the beauty of the boats racing.Untitled-1w

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Photos that inspire me.

Hi Everyone. I thought I would share with you from time to time photos that I have found that inspire me. I love how the artist Ekaterina Efremova captured these beautiful children. From the exquisite lighting, the way they are standing in the frame, to their adorable expressions; I love it all. If you want to be inspired by more of Ekatrina’s work you may find her on a site called 500px


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The lost Art of Handtinting

Back in the day, before color film was invented artists would hand paint a black and white photo by painting on top of the photo with oil paints to simulate color. I have always loved this technique and learned to hand tint 28 years ago while I was at Memphis College of Arts. One of my all time favorites I have ever done was a life size photo of Hannah when she was 6 years old.

IMG_0279It Measures 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Makes quite the statement in the dining room. The paper these photos are printed on are archival to 200 years plus so they become treasured heirlooms.  I have several portraits I have handtinted of my girls over the years and I never get tired of looking at them. Recently I finally got around to handtinting a portrait of my daughter Ashlee from when she was 12 years old. It was taken in the most beautiful place; the estate of John Deer. It is historical home called Vizcaya and if you ever get to Miami you should take a tour.

Here is a image of the painting in progress.

IMG_7497-webYou can see how the color is transforming the image.The oils are transparent so everything you paint has a softer lighter tone than a real color photo has.It saddens me to know that this is becoming just another lost art in the world or technology.Today when a photographer handtints an image they just take a color photo and de-saturates it in photoshop. This takes about 10 seconds. My portraits take me hours to paint, but the effort is truly worth it. A true black and white photo that has been hand-painted has a real organic quality and depth to it. They are also a tangible part of me (as the artist) and my daughters that will be a living history for the generations to come.

The finished portrait.


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Longing for a little ray of sun


This is where I long to be today. Who else is tired of all the cold and wet this winter? I took these on one of my trips to St. Martin. Larry keeps talking about moving there and with a winter like we have had this year, I have to say it seems very enticing.


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